This is an old fashioned love story between a man and his tomatoes. The tale begins in the summer of 2017 when I first started growing backyard veggies. I’m an office guy that has always enjoyed good food so I figured, let’s get outside and give it a shot. I planted some herbs, peppers and heirloom tomatoes. Everything was amazing but the standout was the Cherokee purple tomato, a variety that blew me away with the sweet, juicy flavor. The summer was delightful. I was basking in the glow of my new found love. I was eating tons of delicious veggies and my kids were enjoying the garden harvest almost as much as their ice cream and popsicles. But the honeymoon period couldn’t last forever. The first signs of stress appeared in mid-August when the tomatoes just kept coming. It was an embarrassment of riches. For breakfast – avocados and tomato on toast. For lunch – tomato soup. For dinner – tomato salad. The family was starting to turn on me. “We need a tomato break”, my wife and kids shouted in unison. I thought, there has to be a way to find a loving home for my glorious tomatoes. Maybe I could sell them and use the newfound cash to buy other homegrown produce from my community. I was surprised to find that many in my neighborhood were also growing food and the best thing about home growers is, like me, they tend to dabble in exotic varietals that you can’t find at the grocery store. Lemon cucumbers, Amarillo carrots and doe hill golden peppers were just minutes away.
As a simple way to connect home food growers with the local eaters that appreciate the flavor and freshness of ultra-local fruits and veggies. I can’t grow all of the 400 varieties of heirloom tomato out there, not to mention the cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, carrots, etc. But I’ll bet you that within a few blocks of my house, there are hundreds of varieties of amazing produce being grown. They are being grown with love and passion to feed families, and that’s a difference you can taste.
As famous philosopher, John Denver, once said, “inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow”. We at Seed Voyage want to help you, the gardener, continue to grow amazing things and we want you, the eater to experience the flavor and freshness of ultra-local produce. If we are successful at sowing these seeds and they start to grow inch by inch, maybe in a few years or a few generations, the garden will flourish. The garden of a healthier, happier and safer world. We can point to all kinds of research that suggest gardening and local food are really important for a better functioning society. Gardening heals and reduces stress. Gardening means fewer useless lawns and therefore less water waste and fertilizers. Proper tasting food means mindful eating and less reliance on additives and preservatives. Local means fewer trucks and their greenhouse gases. Local means less food fraud and more food safety.
We are going to keep our head down and focused on making sure that each individual grower and eater has a great experience with Seed Voyage but why not dream a little? Having a small part to play in trying to make the world a better place makes each day just a bit more fulfilling.
Founder, Seed Voyage